7th August 2020
With face coverings now being mandatory within attractions such as The Deep from the 8th of August, The Deep have worked with 360 Protex to create our very own stylish, sustainable and scientifically tested face coverings with a marine theme.
As Governments around the world are focussed on attempting to reduce the impact of a dangerous second wave of infections from Covid-19, the use of face coverings is quickly becoming the new normal.
The introduction of face coverings will soon be mandatory in most indoor venues across the country and whilst it is recognised that they provide benefits in reducing the spread of Covid-19, they come with their own impacts on the environment.
As an environmental charity, The Deep was keen to explore alternatives to disposable face coverings which are quickly becoming the next waste crisis.
Katy Duke, The Deep’s CEO explains;
‘Single use face coverings contain plastic elements and cannot be recycled. Tests have shown that the virus can live on the outside of a disposable mask for 7 days and after each use they should only ever be placed in a bin. Incorrectly disposing of single use face coverings can contaminate recyclables putting more people - especially front line workers - at risk.
Inevitably, single use face coverings will end up in land fill or escape into the natural environment including our rivers and seas. Littering intentionally or accidentally will also have a big impact on our environment. Some organisations are already seeing significant and widespread littering of face coverings which are being found on beaches, parks and pavements. Littering is not the only way these masks find their way into our environment, there is evidence they are also being flushed ‘away’ in toilets.
The huge amount of waste generated by disposable coverings could easily overwhelm our waste infrastructure and the single use plastics within them could be catastrophic for the environment and our wildlife when you consider the global usage of these items.
Indeed it was recently reported that a juvenile falcon was spotted near the Yorkshire coast with a disposable face covering tangled arounds its talons. Irresponsible disposal of face coverings poses real risk to wildlife, similar stories have been told in other parts of the country, in Chelmsford, Essex, a gull was found with its legs trapped in the elastic of a disposable face mask.
The introduction of our very own ‘Virumask’ has provided us with an alternative to disposable whilst assuring we are helping the UK with the on-going battle against Coronavirus’
Reusable face masks are a much better alternative however not all reusable face coverings are the same and some have a greater carbon footprint than others. As you need to change a cotton mask to a fresh one after each use many people will end up with as many cotton mask as they have socks.
Julian Hakes of 360 Protex continues;
Virumask by 360 Protex uses Shield Plus technology from Panaz and maintains its shield-like antimicrobial protection for much longer periods of time, reducing the need for frequent washing and avoiding regular replacement.
These unique features not only provide the ideal solution for people with busy lifestyles, but they significantly reduce water usage and landfill waste from disposable masks.
Virumask is a lightweight non-medical, multi-use face covering made from high-quality breathable fabrics and features a unique anti-microbial material which in tests deactivates 99.99% of bacteria and 92% of Coronavirus on contact – this plays an important role of reducing surface transfer of microbes.
Virumask anti-microbial material has also been shown to de-activate other germs and bacteria including MRSA and E-coli.
It provides an easy-wear, easy-care face covering solution using the latest fabric technology and is available in a wide range of colours and styles. Adjustable elasticated straps provide a secure comfortable fit’
Together we are helping to fight the battle against Coronavirus and at the same time protecting the planet and our oceans.
You can purchase your very own Virumask here https://www.thedeep.co.uk/online-shop/face-covering-with-shieldplus